Beyond the honey bee
The decline of bee species has garnered worldwide attention. Honey bee overwintering losses have been of particular concern due to their impact on agriculture. But there are around 5,000 native bees in North America, and for most of them we have no idea how they are doing. Some native bees we know are in decline, such as the rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis). Others are doing great, even expanding their ranges, such as the common Eastern bumble bee (B. impatiens). But what about all the others?
I recently wrote an article for The Conversation (US) about wild bees, their importance, and some of the research we are currently undertaking to better understand native bee populations trends in Michigan. Check it out!